Sustainability - 2020 vintages to carry Sustainable Austria logo
As many of you will know we have been following sustainable practices for many years but from this new vintage 2020 all our back wine labels will carry the "Sustainable Austria Logo".
This is an important step and will help customers make purchasing decisions that tie in with their values and gives them the peace of mind that this is validated by a independent third party in a transparent and professional way.
This is a spider gram overview of our recent 2020 audit. You will see we are in the green zone for all 9 categories but this is an evolving process of continual improvement so to help you understand the detail here is a list of our current key practices.
- Fuel Consumption reduction - each tractor and farm vehicle is tracked via GPS to ensure the least KM necessary are driven.
- Reduction in use of sprays - we have a weather station in the vineyard that measures the environment in real time. This enables us to build predictive models which anticipate the conditions for the damaging build up of fungal disease. The more accurate these become, the more accurate we can be with any intervention and the frequency with which we do it. We use both organic and conventionally certified sprays to protect the vines from powdery and downey mildew. The mix depends on the threat and the weather. Reducing intervention intervals has the benefit of reduced compressoin of the soil and fuel and water consumption too.
- Avoidance of any artificial fertilisers - we use compost including, horse manure, all pruning and grape pulp is put back into the vineyards and we use leguminous cover crops to help the bio diversity and nutrients in the soil.
- Soil analysis - regular soil analysis to track topsoil health and nutrient sufficiency
- All year round crop cover -we have some vineyards, but not all, that have grass cover between the rows of vines all year round to help soil erosion, carbon capture and minimise erosion. Some vineyards are more susceptible to fungal disease and we remove the cover for 3 months of the year to reduce moisture and minimise the risk of infection.
- Water use. No irrigation in the vineyards - our entire estate relies on natural rainfall
- 160MW Solar energy production from roof of winery – Our winery is run on solar and 82% of our energy produced is fed into the grid. This is enough to power approx 30 family homes p.a.
- Use of lightweight wine bottles - this reduces the energy used in transporting the wine bottles.
- All our wines are Vegan -we use plant based fining agents
- Research - we participate actively in international scientific studies - to enhance the knowledge and scientific data in wine. We are currently participating in a multiyear study to analyse the biodiversity in organic and non organic vineyards and also a climate study to help build predictive intervention models.
We can all make a postive difference
We passionately believe in harmony and balance and by understanding the whole connected process in its totality we can all make better and more informed decisions for our environment. We at Hoepler will continue to improve but we hope that individuals and customers see that their combined actions also make a difference to help bring about positive change. If you have any further questions please email us directly.